How fast does your gas generator start?

How long does it take to start up your installation with a wood fired gas generator?Recently, I have been thinking a lot whether it is possible to reduce the start-up time of the gas generator and, accordingly, the engine on the obtained gas. This is how it works for me.


Today I finished work on my tenth system, although tests are still ahead. The main goal of building this system was to achieve the fastest possible start-up and get good gas. Apparently, it should start at the same speed as the coal gas generator.


Good morning Joni.

Thanks much for your video showing very good start up time .

How I start my gasifiers will depend on how big a hurry I am in. If in big hurry I will light the gasifier and drive on gasoline until the gasifier is producing good gas . I would expect to drive a couple of minutes from first light to be running on wood gas.

When not in hurry I will start up like this video and expect start to be 2-3 min.

Thanks for your participation



Hi Joni, I take it, that on quick start ups you are taking about no gasoline in involved. Right?
My WK gasifer uses the engine to preheat the air going into the gasifer. So I can just start up the truck on gas. Turn on my suction/blower. Open the hopper check the condition of my char bed with my prob bar. As long as I had a good charcoal bed when it was shut down, I can light it up in the borehole I made in the middle. Cave in the torified wood on top and add wood. Reverse the blower flow back and forth a few times. Fill the hopper with wood gas shut the blower off close the hopper lid. Start up the suction blower again. And gas is on its way the to engine. The reason is the 2 wood gas valve to the engine when closed are never completely seal off. So if I close my air supply to my engine a little it will start a vacuum draw on the gasifer to the engine. Mean while the engine is preheating the air to the gasifer.
With in a few minutes it is ready to go.
I can also just drive away in the truck on gasoline and woodgas as the gasifer gets up to temperature no sense wasting gasoline sitting there. And switch it over to wood gas as I drive down the road.
If I am doing this with out gasoline at all, it will take longer to get the big gasifer unit up to temperature. I also will check my gas by flaring it or just looking at the smoke haze. It is a little different when operating a WK Gasifier than the Imbert style gasifer.
One lesson I have learned from the DOW group is never be in a hurry when it comes to lighting up my gasifier. If you forget to turn your blower on before you light up. KA-BOOM. Now you have to reload your hopper with wood and clean all the charcoal/wood off our truck. And I need to take a bath now, I hope and pray that never happens to me. So much for the Quick start up. The WK gasifer holds a lot of reserve gas in the system. Look up Wayne Keith’s video on how fast he can start one of his gasifers up. Pretty impressive, and a lot faster than I can do, or even want to do it.
I just notice it, Wayne just posted ahead of me. Good job Wayne.
Hey that’s my truck in the second video.


Hello Mr. Bob .

You may have recognized one of the trucks I was firing up :slightly_smiling_face:

I had the option of four different trucks to go into town . In the shed in the back ground was a Ram V-10 and a 460 ford F250 . Your 92 Dakota and a 93 in the other shed . :slightly_smiling_face:


Yup Wayne, the truck looks the same, but the longer I own it, the more the gasifer looks different on it. There is still lots of your original parts that you put on it and built for it on the truck. I have keep all the parts that I have replaced. I planning on reusing them for more gasification projects. Like the old fire tube for a charcoal gasifer.


I don’t think using gasoline to start the engine is a good idea since you remain dependent on the gas station. I completely refused the services of a gas station three years ago, and I do not feel any discomfort in this regard.


All I can say Joni is, GOOD FOR YOU. I can respect that in your line of thought. There is absolutely nothing wrong with what you are doing. You are truly a full time. No gas needed DOW person.
Some day I might reach that level when driving my truck. It can be done with a WK Gasifier, I have done it. Back in 2008 when the prices went up on fuel here in the States. I had no gasifer or I would have been driving 100% on wood. I bought fuel at $5.93 a gallon. Back in the early 1970’s duning the gas embargo fuel was rationed and long gas lines at gas stations. Some places you could only buy a limited amount of fuel. If I would of had a gasifer then I would have been DOW. These two episodes start what is now DOW with Gasification being done once a gain here in the USA. World War II started the whole gasification revolution.


I have wanted to hear more talk before me.
“Smarty Pants”, smarts. (means sting like a slap.)

I am stationary power.
Stationary woodgasifing you almost never use the engine to suck up to heat the gasifier. This is a primary needed power source. DO NOT Jeopardize it!
So how to speed up the time to useable gas production?
Three steps.
Insure you do have a GOOD woodcharcoal bed at the nozzles and above the nozzles to operate as a charcoal gasifier for at least 15-20 minutes.

Recall my Victory gasworks Vancouver Shop picture of me kneeling at the electrical generator next to the small HotWatt system.
There was my own backpac small portable oxygen-acetylene torch set. I had learned well by then to fire thru the starting port with HOT, LONG torch flame. Held in place for a time. Force full across the bed firing. Do not wait for across the bed propagation. Force it.
Also next to me were my two old Auto Mechanics used plastic Shop vacuum cleaners. To electrically load the electrical generator I had said. Yes But . . . . these blow as well as they vacuum.
So force blow into the liting port. Not just be dependent on the systems 12 vdc suction blower. Again force propagation. Heating up.

Third step taught to me by Max Gasman. Use the torch sets flint sparker to lite test the flare only.
Valid. The intent was to use the gasifier gas as a fuel in a spark ignited engine. Flame lit flares had proven sometime NOT to have gas mix the engines would start on.
Do not care why. Do what you can do now. Blow harder. Longer. Then STOP the forcing, and let the system settle in for a short time.
Try spark liting again. Or, hell. Just crank over the engine to running. Many here do. YOU DID verify the char bed, after all. NO heating wood involved at this point. IF the system ran down properly before shut down - these would be no raw wood left. Hand bed re-loaded - you should have NOT added any raw wood until the system heating was established.

Then I could consistently get 2-3 minutes to engine gas running.
True gasifier fully heated stability a bit longer of course. Depending on the size mass of the gasifer; and the true engines loading.

Of course in a developers shop proving new designs; and obscure fuels types; and at many of the DIY systems visits that I’ve done often I had to initially do a full system dump out, and screening sort into 4-5 containers the existing in-gasifer loading.
Then hand reloading often adding more char to get that good initial char bed critically needed.
And even on the DIY systems my shop blower forced; blowing, seeing smoke and steam leaks a lot of adhesive aluminum system taping up for leaks. I was there to prove the systems first. Refine and teach Operators responsibilities. System repairs, upgrades, were for later.
This all: NOT part of a normal from cold starting.
My time was valuable. I was traveled away from home. My farm. My wife. Our dogs. No time for one-wooden match fancy stunting. No patience for one news-sheets slowness.
These small refillable portable torch tanks I used for 10 years. Still have useable charges.
MAPP gas consumer bottles with a consumer oxygen bottle sets are available here. Affordable.

Jodi many here do use on vehicle DC to AC inverters to be able to use stronger blower/vacuums. 120/220 v-ac does the job much better.
The modern Nordic Swedes and Finns all seem to only do starting up blowing to get faster starting ups.
Steve unruh


Many of you constantly mention the “WK” gas generator, but since I am on the forum recently, I do not understand what this is about. Can any of the knowledgeable guys sketch out “WK” so that I have a little idea of ​​what it is about. can there be a video about the “WK” device?
Best regards, Joni. Thank you.

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Hi Joni, Wayne showed you 2 videos of the WK Gasifier, how he start them up.
To beable to know how the WK Gasifer works and how it is built. You need to be a Premium Member, and not just on the free members sign up for access to this site.
You will receive the Book “Have Wood Will Travel” that Wayne Keith wrote, and Chris Saenz edited. I feel it is worth it’s weight in gold, or I should say black char gold. Just today I refer to the book to confirm something I was thinking about.
This part of the premium membership is what supports the website that we all enjoy and love being wood/charcoal gasification members. Chris is also the web designer and administrator. He has spent countless hours trying to keeping this site running flawlessly. Good job Chris. When you are a Premium Member you will beable to unlock all the WK information part of this site and there is a lot of information in this part of the site. We that have built WK Gasifier have our building threads and videos in this WK part of the site. Many have built the WK Gasifiers I honestly do not know how many. It will bless you with information over and over again. We do give out some oral information but it is very limited and general.

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Pushing blower, lighting box, a bit of paper, a swash of spirit, spark lighting, closing lightning cap. 3,5 min to clean gas start. NO GASOLINE EVER! No gasoline carburettor at all! Max


Thank MaxG.
Here Jodi a new in-use device-system for you not in any of your Ukrainian or Russian videos. Not used here USofA/Canada either:
The purposed build and used Liting (-Up) Box .
Look at modern Finn systems photos and videos and you will see this, universal.

smarty pants Steve Unruh
(smart enough to read/see the details and explore the Why’s as just as important)

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Joni, I would probably save more time if I was able to train my wife to help me get dressed and feed me quicker in the morning :smile:
Wayne has mentioned over the years how much faster a gasifier produces good gas if it’s lit low in the charbed. I find that very true. If I manage to maintain an open air void down through the char for only a few extra seconds after lightup, hardly no pulling through the nozzles is necessary after the lid is closed.
I usually light up that way first thing, and then run away for 10-15 seconds to grab a bag of wood. When I get back it’s white hot down there. A quick poke down, add wood, 5 sec reverse, close lid and go go go. No waiting. 9 times outof 10 there’s no need to touch the fuel switch.

I think we could all crank up straight on woodgas if we wanted to, but this is more a philosophical question than it is technical one.
If our main goal is to get independent of fossil fuel we should probably start with growing our own food. There’s a lot of fuel put into store bought food before it ends up on our plate. Then stop using the roads, cars, metal, concrete, plastic… The list is endless. Fossil fuel is involved in pretty much everything.
Adding a few drops of gasoline to the motor as a time saver, could even mean we could find time grow another carrot :smile:


When building a gasified vehicle in my environment I find it important to have a gasoline option. When shutting down on wood gas I like to switch the vehicle to the gasoline mode so that the wife , sons or anyone I ask can just turn the switch and crank up and drive . Many times I have called the wife to bring me the truck or tools and I may need them quick . Another rule is in ever vehicle to have enough gasoline to drive to nearest hospital .

If gasoline was 10 dollars a gallon I would still like to have the option even if never used :slightly_smiling_face:


Kewl. Joni has played the role of Purist. Wayne has played the practical man, who will always survive. Can I play the penny pincher, minimalist?
What if we used Joni’s tailpipe venturi idea to draw air thru the gasifier during startup. This might eliminate an electric blower.


Joni, I suppose it should be obvious enough by now, yet I didn’t see it clearly stated in the responses, that “WK” are the initials for Wayne Keith who designed and developed the WK gasifier. Have a great day all.


Joni you ask a valid question deserving a valid answer.
I do not WK build or operate. But I am a Premium-side member. And 2-4 WK builders users in my State. Two talking about it. So I can kind of sorta stretch out and answer you.

Mine and most others are small internal oxidization and reduction zone volume units needing close adherence to internal velocity flows to function properly. Everything inside these low volume velocity machines must happen exactly so; just-in-time.

WayneK’s and those emulating him: are huge internal volume machines relying on a huge-mass-volume of all-hot at temperature. Internal velocity can vary considerably.
No one told Mr Wayne the futility of perusing extremes air pre-heating so he DID go extreme that way. And that gave him the longest trip traveling capability, and fasted recorded woodgassed vehicle on the face of the planet. Ha! His daily driver. Able to trundle around field and cows inspecting. Able to fearlessly sit at long stop lights.
Then he thicken strengthened and heats distributed out rebuilt to survive that heats hammering abuse. Just a typical American Southern-boy getting with it.
Why you have a 300 hours building welding commitment to duplicate his.

All of the drawings and comparisons do not show true nature of the WK system.
It is in the mans transferred personal living philosophy into that system.
Any system can only be as good as it user/operator.
He says his good gasification results is always 25% machine - 75% Operator.
To make a WK actually work, and produce well the user/operator must adopt and use this same philosophy.
Change over from Wayne’s analog gauges, mirrors viewed to remote digital? OK . . . maybe . . until one of those tells you foul. You end up spending spend more time sorting digital gauges system and wiring, then paying attention to the core system happenings. Sights, sounds, smells. Your video of the guy smoking out his car interiors. Over focused on the wrong end of it.
Automate a WK to be a ONE-Button? Cheeesh. That is throwing out the whole concept of operator responsibility. No accepted responsibility - then no knowledge. Baaaa. Sheeple consumer.
The one and only system been vacuum/flow mixer automated? Plastics tubing covering the whole top of the engine. To have altitude changing capability for western US needed this flatlander system needed extensive modification. Something an aware operator would do just by sight, sound and smell. Or practical say; so run a bit rich, eh. I’ll lean you out when I get to it.

So now the Premium-Side buy-in.
Truly is a revenue generation to finance this site.
Thousands read and pay nothing for the general interest side. Free to them. Paid for by Premium side members
Hundreds on the general interest side exchange highlight out their own works for free. Paid for by Premium side members.

But this Pay to join although not intended to be; is a qualification hurdle.
Are you willing to accept full personal responsibility for your freeing energy? Are you willing to go out sweat, earn and pay out, for it?
Because you WILL be sweating that fuel wood if you do this for real usages.
Willing to be one of the ones willing to pay to promote a wider use of wood-for-shaft power. Making it real. Now. In todays world.

The real limitations to wood-for-shaft-power is not in the numbers or the metals. It is in the limitations we put onto ourselves.
And I’ve been as guilty of this as any.
I’m better now. And DOW has made me so.



Don’t get me wrong, I am not against the fact that you have to pay for knowledge and books that are patented, I just asked and asked a question to which I received an exhaustive answer. I just wanted to compare “WK” and my creation, working on construction and literature over the past five years and came up with some discoveries, and just had the goal of finding out something you know about my knowledge … Regards Joni. And once again I apologize.

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It is all OK Jodi.
No apology needed.
You could just read my 2nd and 3rd paragraphs as that is all I can actually say about the WK’s design characteristics.

I felt it was very important to emphasize that all of these true working wood gasification systems will be quite of bit the designers personality in them.
Yours too.

Mike LaRosa a last years deceased member was know for his “LaRosafier” creations.
Many copied his. None ever seemed to get his usability out of their copies.
Very interesting actually. He’d use two bolted together cast iron front disc brake and hub assemblies for his center oxidization/restriction/reduction cores. Build thin steel around this as the gas housings.
I have saved back three set of used front brake rotors/hub pairs in different sizes now. Just-in-case. JIC

And I was always telling my friend Ben Peterson to name his BenBuilts. BB1,BB2, etc… He preferred single word names. Woody; University; Off-Gridder; Victory; HotWatt, Victory-Grid; with one pellet gravity system EPS? ESP? tossed in the middle.

Ha! Your chance now to lock yours in known as you want is now.
Otherwise someone will tag it Joni’s-Joy; or Opel-Magic in jest. Others pick up that name and then forever . . .known.

And I did not want your asked reasonable question to hang out there in limbo.
A mistaken answer: and I’m a big boy, with a meaty ass and can take the kicking.

Best Regards
Steve unruh

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